Rep. Luis Gutierrez plans to discipline a staffer for a comment he made comparing Republicans to the Ku Klux Klan at a campaign event for Gov. Pat Quinn Thursday, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
The Rev. Walter “Slim” Coleman, works part time at Gutierrez's North Side campaign office.
At Thursday's Clergy For Quinn endorsement event, Coleman spoke about the "unlikely voter" that Democrats need to reach out to for future elections, but according to the Sun-Times, he also warned of another type of unlikely voter.
"That’s an unlikely voter that began way back in 1961 and ’62 with the Ku Klux Klan, that grew up through the militias, that came out of the militias and, and, and – came in to call themselves conservatives, and then came in to call themselves Republican.”
Gutierrez, who has worked closely with Republicans on immigration reform, told the newspaper the comments were "outrageous, very hurtful and just plain wrong.”
Gutierrez says he will evaluate the situation to determine disciplinary action.
According to the Sun-Times, the Illinois Republican Party criticized Quinn for standing by and not denouncing the comments when they were made, but Quinn's campaign said that the governor strongly disagrees with the statements and that the campaign was not responsible for inviting Coleman to the event.